Middle East Power Book 2019

The definitive guide to the brightest and most influential PR professionals in Middle East.

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Mamoon Sbeih

Mamoon Sbeih

Managing director – Arab region

APCO Worldwide

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What are the two biggest drivers of change in the comms industry for the next five years?

The first is the communication behaviour of consumers, which is changing faster than the industry can adapt: people are becoming more attracted to video and image than language. The second is the multiple convergence of technology.

What are the two biggest challenges to overcome for the comms industry?

The first challenge is a basket that includes verification, manipulation and the concept of fake news. The second one is people’s short attention span and the ability of organisations to break through the deluge of data and info out there.

On a scale from 1-5, how optimistic are you about the growth of the PR market in the Middle East for the next five years?

5. Both corporations and governments see the value of active engagement vs the implications of passive behaviour.

On a scale from 1-5, how well do you think comms agencies in this market are addressing digital trends?

Most agencies are around 3 – there is much more that needs to be done.

Do you believe the PR role will become more closely aligned with marketing – and why (or why not)?

Yes, marketeers need independent third party content in a shared economy, so these two disciplines will continue to complement each other.

Which company or organisation worldwide has had the worst 12 months in terms of reputation damage, and why?

GE – its fall from glory is insurmountable. In our industry Bell Pottinger.

Which company or organisation has had the best 12 months in terms of building brand trust and reputation?

Instagram – despite what has happened with Facebook. It came up with a solution to enhance SMEs.

Do we need to reclaim or redefine ‘public relations’?

It is more about what people need than what we define, so probably not.

Name the media outlet that is most influential in your life.

It's not a media outlet, it’s a platform that provides access to multiple media outlets, and that’s Twitter.

Which actor/actress would play you in a film?

George Clooney.